STOCK PIX Benton County Courthouse artwork (copy)

A 19-year-old Corvallis man accused of beating, choking and stabbing his girlfriend was released from the Benton County Jail on Monday after posting a $15,000 bond.

Theodore Jurgen Schutfort was arrested on Wednesday and arraigned Thursday in Benton County Circuit Court, where he was charged with three counts of second-degree assault, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of strangulation, all felonies. He was also charged with 30 misdemeanor counts of strangulation, menacing and assault in what prosecutors allege was a pattern of domestic violence.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Schutfort’s ex-girlfriend told investigators that he abused her on numerous occasions between March and October of last year, when the two Oregon State University students shared an apartment just off campus.

The woman said Schutfort repeatedly choked her with his hands, almost causing her to lose consciousness; struck her in the face with his fists on multiple occasions; and once beat her with a wooden dowel in the chest and stomach for 10 to 15 minutes, the affidavit states. In October, she told investigators, he stabbed her in the neck with a knife, causing bleeding and a small scar.

The Gazette-Times generally does not publish the names of alleged domestic violence victims who have not come forward publicly.

Bail was initially set at $300,000, but Judge Locke Williams agreed to lower that figure to $150,000 after a bail reduction hearing on Monday.

Schutfort’s defense attorney, Clark Willes, asked the judge to set security in the case at $60,000, noting that Schutfort has no prior criminal history.

Deputy Benton County District Attorney Amie Matusko requested that bail remain at $300,000, arguing that letting Schutfort out of jail would impose a hardship on the alleged victim, who left OSU in December and is now living in the Seattle area.

“I would assume if he were released she would not return, which is in essence interfering with her education,” Matusko said.

But Willes argued that the release agreement could be written to require Schutfort to have no contact with the woman, either in person or through other means such as email, text message or social media. He also pointed out that Schutfort is now living with his mother, while the alleged victim is in another state.

Schutfort’s mother and grandmother both testified in court, promising to keep a close eye on him and monitor his internet use.

Williams lowered Schutfort’s bail to $150,000 and ordered him to have no contact with the alleged victim or her family.

Schutfort’s next scheduled court appearance is a status check hearing set for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.

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Reporter Bennett Hall can be reached at 541-758-9529 or bennett.hall@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter at @bennetthallgt.


Special Projects Editor

Special Projects Editor, Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald